Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Upcoming Events - October 25 - 27!

The ACLU at FIU College of Law is holding three events this week!

The first event is actually brought by the Greater Miami ACLU Board of Directors and is about upcoming proposed amendments to the Florida Constitution which YOU will be voting on November 6th!

Greater Miami Chapter of the ACLU Board of Directors Free Public Forum on Amendments 5, 6, and 8!
Date: Thursday, 25 October 2012
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Temple Israel, 137 NE 19 Street, Miami 33132
For questions, contact Jeff Borg,
We will carpool from FIU.  If you would like to come please e-mail before 5PM tomorrow!!
Click attached flyer for more info.

The second event, while aimed at 1Ls, is open for all law students and is co-sponsored with National Lawyer's Guild and ACS:

1L Ready to Mingle Event
Join us for a lunch where we help you meet all those other 1Ls you've seen scrambling in the print room, "shushing" you in the library, and occupying the microwave. Meet your fellow classmates and then gain very important skills with regard to networking with attorneys, judges, and other professionals. The networking portion will be led by Career Services!
Lunch will be served!
Date: Friday October 26
Time: 11:45am to 1pm
Location: RDB 2001

The second event is co-sponsored with National Lawyer's Guild and ACS:

Disorientation: Picnic with NLG Attorneys

If you believe that the law should serve ALL of the people? Are you
interested in protecting free speech; the right to peacefully protest; fighting
against mass incarceration; the rights of noncitizens; etc.?

Join us on Saturday afternoon (well after the Halloween party...) as we enjoy a sunny South Florida day with prominent National Lawyer's Guild attorneys (some of which are on the ACLU of Greater Miami Board of Directors).  We will be enjoying a light lunch while these attorneys present a long-standing NLG tradition: Law School DISorientation!
Date: Saturday October 27
Time: 2pm to 4pm
Location: Tropical Park, 7900 SW Bird Road Miami, FL
Please contact Rachel Bentley at: or 561-707-0980 for directions!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Voting Rights Event - A Big Hit!

To begin, I would like to thank everyone involved in making this event so successful.  This includes Rachel Bentley - President of the ACS Student Chapter here at FIU Law, Bobby Joe - our wonderful co-President, and the brand new FIU Law College Democrats!  Not to mention the panelists themselves - Professor Greenberg (FIU Law) and Daniel Palugyai, Esq.  These panelists covered the vast topics related to the Voting Rights Act, disenfranchisement, Voter ID laws, restrictions on voter registration, and current hot topics such as merit retention and the corporate backing of elections.

These topics carry on well to our event today - Campaign Finance and the Constitutionality of Citizens United: A Debate Between ACS and ACLU.  Please feel free to join us at 12PM today at the FIU College of Law, large courtroom. Lunch will be served.

Here are some pictures from Tuesday's Voting Rights Event:

 Pre-Event Lunch provided by Quiznos.
 Guest Speaker Mr. Palugyai (far left) with some members enjoying the pre-event lunch.
 Mohamed T. Al-Darsani, former Federalist Society President, was present at the event and engaged the panelists.
 Rachel Bentley (left) with Panelist Professor Greenberg.
 Rachel Bentley and Bobby Joe Bracy conducted the introduction.
 Our panelists - Professor Greenberg and Mr. Daniel Palugyai.
 We loved the turn out! Everyone was alert and engaged. :)
 Panoramic view of the room.
Our executive board - starting top left: Rodrigo Flores, Benjamin Hughes, Marisa Wilson, Ryan Lavoie, Ryan Maguire. Bottom left: Nicole Sinder, Laura Guzman, Rachel Bentley, and Bobby Joe Bracy.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Voting Rights and Campaign Finance - Upcoming Events!

Following the success of "Defining Domestic Terrorism", ACS and ACLU will be working together to bring two more big events to FIU Law this week! 

The Voting Rights Event & Voter Registration
Tomorrow, Tuesday September 25 (National Voter Registration Day) at 12:30pm in the small courtroom.

Come join the ACS and ACLU as we cover current voting issues such as: voter suppression through the purging of minorities, Voter ID Laws, Early Voting Cuts and how Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act is under attack.

Our Panelists will include:

Professor Greenberg, an adjunct Election Law professor at FIU Law, has had an extensive career as an attorney. His expertise and experience with the Bush v. Gore case in 2000 has made him an asset to FIU Law.

Dan Palugyai, is a local attorney who will be representing the ACLU’s voting rights positions. Dan worked in fundraising for the ACLU of Florida’s Miami office before earning his law degree at Georgetown. Along the way he’s interned and worked in our nation’s capital for two congressmen, a lobbying firm, and a congressional committee.

Funmi Olorunnipa, currently works to protect the vote. She is an attorney who trains and organizes lawyers and law students to be poll watchers during early voting and election day in order to ensure that election laws are not broken at the polls.

The Law School Democrats will also be holding a voter registration drive outside of the small courtroom in order to register people to vote on National Voter Registration day. Please tell people you know, even non-law students, to come out and register!
They will also be doing change of addresses, so if you want to vote in Florida please update your address!

~Lunch will be provided~
Check out the Facebook Event:

Coming up later this week will be:

Citizens United: A Campaign Finance Debate
Thursday September 27 at 12:00pm in the large courtroom

Is Citizens United constitutional in light of how Political Action Committees’ donations have corrupted campaigns?

Prof. Morrissey of Stetson Law will debate Prof. Wasserman of FIU Law.

Please come with any questions you may have pertaining to campaign finance!

~Lunch will be provided~

We would love to see everyone out in force at these events! It means a lot to the prominent speakers we invite to speak to a full room! Invite your friends.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact either myself, Bobby Bracy ( or Rachel Bentley ( We hope to see you there!

Defining Domestic Terrorism Post-Event

To begin, we would like to thank every one for coming out to the event and making it better! We hope you all enjoyed it and come to our next event (more information in a second post).
Ms. Odette Wilkens, Professor Jose Gabilondo, Professor Ediberto Roman, and Mr. Subhash Kateel each presented thought-provoking sides of the domestic terrorism discussion which ranged from animal activist terrorism to Libertarian terrorism, to the scare tactics used in politics against undocumented immigrants, and to the post-9/11 effects on Muslim-American civil liberties.

We have included some pictures of the event below:

 This was our Student Organization Fair table.  The Fair was in late August a few weeks before our first event.  We had a raffle and the winner would come with us to an ACLU Board of Directors meeting in the Fall. The winner was announced at our first general meeting the following day.
 Nicole Sinder (left) and Mahira Khan (right) presented the introduction and the moderator, Professor Choudhury (depicted below).  There was also a moment of silence in remembrance of 9/11.
 Professor Choudhury introduced each speaker with their biographies and notable accomplishments.
 Professor Gabilondo is certainly active when he speaks.  He spoke on the possible spectrum from typical political affiliation to activist political affiliation to terrorist acts with little relation to political affiliation or terrorist acts with absolutely no identifiable meaning to them.
 This is a view of the audience (only half).
 Professor Ediberto Roman spoke on the scare tactics used by media and politicians to tie undocumented immigrants to terrorism or even to violent crimes.
Mr. Subhash Kateel spoke on his own experience pre- and post-9/11 in New York.  He spoke about his immigration work and the many Muslim-American families that were adversely affected by new laws and public perception after the attacks.

Sunday, September 9, 2012


Welcome to Florida International University's College of Law ACLU Student Chapter blog!  It is with much excitement that the 2012-2013 Executive Board brings this blog into use as a vehicle for announcing upcoming events and to post pictures, articles, and other material.

To begin, we invite you all to enjoy our first event of the Fall 2012 semester: Defining Domestic Terrorism.  This event will take place at FIU's Law School, on Modesto Maidique Campus in Miami, Florida on September 11 from 12pm to 2pm in our large courtroom.  We welcome anyone who is interested to join us.

This event will be a panel discussion on the myriad of definitions for "terrorist" in the United States government, in our society, and in our media.  Each panelist will present different views they've encountered and postulate as to why there is such a large difference between who is considered a terrorist and who isn't - despite their actions.

Panelists include:
Professor Jose Gabilondo, an FIU Law professor and nationally recognized commentator will be speaking on Libertarian Terrorism.
Professor Ediberto Roman, an FIU Law professor and accomplished author will be speaking on Immigration and Terrorism.
Ms. Odette Wilkens, the Executive Director of Equal Justice Alliance will be speaking on the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act.
Mr. Muhammed Malik, a human rights advocate and social commentator will be speaking on post 9/11 effects on Muslim-American civil liberties.
Mr. Subhash Kateel, co-host of a radio show called Let's Talk About It! and an organizer with Florida Immigrant Coalition, will be speaking about his personal experience pre- and post-9/11 while living in New York City as a Muslim-American.

The moderator is Professor Cyra Akila Choudhury, an FIU Law professor with specialties in international human rights and Islamic law, among others.

We look forward to seeing you there and if you have any questions please leave a comment and we will reply whenever possible! Thank you for your time and here's to having another great year!

-Nicole Sinder
Co-President, ACLU at FIU Law Student Chapter